As the Geneva International Motor Show hits its stride, one car has overshadowed the slew of supercars that have rained down on Switzerland this year and been blowing minds the world over. The Koenigsegg Regera has come to reign over everything here, in every sense. The numbers just keep getting bigger – it must be to do with the long winters in Sweden. But then there’s something different with the Regera, different even for inveterate mavericks like Koenigsegg.
There are a couple of things we’ve all come to expect from these guys, mostly involving an almost blatant disregard for the status quo and an almost fanatical dedication to speed. The Regera doesn’t just hit those marks, it redefines not just how far you can go off reservation, but what acceleration really means and how you create it.
You could just stop at the fact it’s a new Koenigsegg, tick the fast box as a given and admire the Regera’s beautiful, organic shaping. It carries a clear evolutionary lineage from the previous models whilst introducing an even more swooping and sculptural package, their prettiest car yet.
But then when the specs are delivered, deadpan, it’s hard not to laugh as your mind slowly unravels. Let’s start with the fact it doesn’t have a gearbox.
This is, after all, a plug-in hybrid at its heart, sort of like a Prius with one gear. Right. A 250mph Prius. Okay, it’s not like a Prius. This is the glory of Koenigsegg’s latest innovation: Koenigsegg Direct Drive, a single-ratio power delivery system that seamlessly bridges power from electric to combustion engine motivation in unholy style.
Based on a highly modified Agera S chassis, the Regera has 241hp electric motors on each rear wheel powered by a 9kW 620-volt, water-cooled battery store to back up an already ferocious 1,100hp twin-turbo V8 mounted amidships.
That V8 is like the second stage ignition of a Saturn rocket – the in-wheel motors launch the car using pure electric magic, and then a third electric motor making 215hp works in conjunction with a hydraulic coupling to bridge the torque gap between the electric and nuclear-bomb combustion engine. That’s almost 700hp from the electric trickery alone.
Silence, silence, speed and then all the noise in the world and off into hyperdrive territory. 250mph in 20 seconds. A potential useable total of 1,500hp and 2,000Nm of torque.
The Regera also uses a regenerative braking system to replenish the battery. Continuously varying transmissions are no new thing, but no one’s ever done anything like this with the concept. It would take a Christian Koenigsegg to do that, after all.
The front tyres are actually wider than the rears to compensate for the weight of the battery pack; all four surround ultra-lightweight carbon rims.
At the rear is a bespoke, sound-tuned titanium exhaust jointly developed by Akrapovi?, which uses fish-tail outlets either sides of the main pipe – which is actually a cooling outlet for the battery.
The gorgeous lines of the car are more than aesthetic flourishes in carbon – the huge side intakes are all part of the complex aero system that keeps this missile pinned to the ground. The chassis is full active-ride – the underbody fins can be dynamically controlled, the rear wing sits tucked down tight in the streamlined tail, popping up as necessary, and the front fins similarly deploy automatically.
So, it’s faster than anything else you can imagine that doesn’t leave earth orbit, is an aerodynamic marvel, looks incredible and is a plug-in hybrid. Then it also whips its top off just when you’re not expecting it, turning into a completely different car.
But then again, it turns out the Regera is like a Transformer. Koenigsegg’s robotised marvel, everything is controllable from a smart phone, with all panels using a soft-close system for that slicker-than-slick feel. Even the wing mirrors automatically fold in when the scissor doors gracefully and automatically arc open.
Just 80 will be made. The thing is that with Koenigsegg every time you see a new car that defies imagination, you know there’s likely the next thing already ticking around the ever-active mind of Christian and his team.
A couple of years back I talked about the savage weapons of Geneva. Looking back, they just seem like child’s playthings now the Regera has hit town…